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What fools these mortals be 

You may think that midsummer, given its name, is sometime in the middle of the summer. But if you think that, you’re wrong—though that’s nothing new. You’re wrong about a lot of things, including—but not limited to—your opinions on the government, your thoughts on pop music, and your ideas about who I am.

But you’re doubly wrong about midsummer. Old-time-type people like Caesar and Shakespeare and Moses didn’t have calendars like we have calendars today, so they put midsummer at the beginning of summer. June 21. That’s when the night is the shortest and the day is the longest, so nocturnal folks such as myself get the short end of the stick but solar-power users get something like a couple more pennies’ worth of energy out of their multi-thousand-dollar systems.
All this being said, if you had a dream on that Wednesday night, that was your midsummer night’s dream. Mine involved me riding a horse across an ocean while smoking a big cigar. Actually, both of us were smoking. Me and the horse. Chew on that one, Freud. When we got to the other side, my grade-school teacher was there. My teacher kissed me, and then hit me over the head with a statue of myself and stole my wallet.
This may be a weak and idle theme, but the dream reminded me, for some reason, of Cuesta College’s failed Measure G attempt. It also led me to wonder where William Berry went wrong. Will’s the guy who said that everything looked rosy before the election for Cuesta’s $310 million plan—for a while, anyway. But every rosy plan has its thorns, and what at first looked like throngs of supporters ready to selflessly help the college build a better tomorrow actually turned out to be a tightfisted mob scrambling to keep hold of its money for as long as it could. They wanted that better tomorrow to be theirs and theirs alone.
See, even if people say that they believe that children are the future, they might also believe that there are ways to show them all the beauty they possess inside other than teaching them well and letting them lead the way. After all, new facilities at Cuesta won’t pay for another month of cable, will they? And who could blame those working masses for not wanting to part with their money? It is money, after all.

Actually, come to think of it, Measure G lost by only 11 percent of the vote, but that’s still a long way off from overwhelming support. And you know what they say: Close doesn’t count, except in love and war. Or all’s fair in horseshoes and hand grenades. I know it has something to do with fighting, anyway.

In light of the college’s financial defeat, this Will guy may be conducting an autopsy on the measure, slicing and dicing to find where the fatal cancer was. Then, after excising any tumors or cysts or hair and teeth, he’s going to stitch it all back together, throw in a new brain from Abby someone, I think, and Angela Mitchell and her fellow San Luis Obispo County Community College District board members are going to decide whether to jolt the thing back to life.

After the early-June defeat, I wouldn’t be surprised if the board members did give their creation life, but I’m fairly sure that they’ll also reign in their new Frankenstein-like beast to make it more voter-friendly. Still, I also wouldn’t be surprised if the county voters turned out in November with torches and pitchforks, especially considering all of the money the state’s going to be asking for. Let’s just hope that no polling places get set up in any windmills. I’ve seen how that would end, and it isn’t pretty.

For now, however, all of the decision makers at the college have to figure out whether they even really want to try again, and if so, for how much, and once they’ve decided that, for when. We could hear another plea for money as soon as November. Or, if they can’t get their decision-making ducks in a row in time, they might have to wait until next June to go tapping through the streets of San Luis Obispo County crying, “Alms! Alms for the students!�

On July 5, officials are going to take their first, hesitant steps in deciding whether they want to move forward with another bond. I think they should go for it, but, as I’ve said before, I also think that they should take a cue from their less-greedy community-college neighbor to the south and scale back their request for cash. Allan Hancock College’s Jose Ortiz asked for a much smaller amount—something like $25 or $26 total, I think—and got every penny. Or, at least, he will once everybody pays him.

So not only did he get what he wanted, but he’s also not going to have to worry about post-mortem campaign surgeries and mobs of angry peasants. Talk about a win-win situation.

That’s about all I can think of to talk about for this week. I wanted to mention the county’s new hand up the Los Osos sewer system, but I’m still pretty tired. I haven’t been getting very much sleep lately what with these dreams I’ve been having. All I can say is that if these shadows have offended, well, get used to it. As I am an honest Puck—or at least something that sounds like that—I can tell you that I’m not here to sugar- coat the news for you. Still, give me your hands if we be friends, and, while you’re at it, can you give me a couple of bucks, too? I’m not asking for $310 million—just a fiver so I can have a few beers before I say goodnight unto you all. ∆

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